Our Guest Author today is Erin, the Music Chorister Extraordinaire in my ward Primary. She brings great visuals that help children learn new songs and is very kind when my son flips through her binders. ~ Marjorie
As the ward Music Leader, I use a 3-ring binder for a lot of my visual aids. I keep them in plastic pages so it is easy for me and the children to follow along. My first and best resource is sugardoodle.net. They have a primary section, song index, a specific section for the music leaders, sharing time, etc. They not only have visual aids but ideas for games, what to do for birthdays, and a whole lot more. My number one recommendation is to check out this site!
Sugardoodle is a site that has many contributors. They make amazing flipcharts for primary songs. For some examples of song flipcharts on the site click here and here: (open this one in Word or as a PDF). “JollyJen” is the most famous flipchart maker on sugardoodle. I have never met her but would like to thank her for saving me many an hour searching for images online and probably unwittingly breaking copyright laws. I love the color pictures she does but usually use black and white cartoon versions because my printer only prints black and white. You can keep all the words on the pages for harder songs, use key words for simpler songs or just pictures for non-readers. I sometimes download the flipcharts and edit them myself to make the changes I want.
Once in a while (especially for Senior Primary) I go the whole hog and write the entire song verse on a poster or the chalkboard. They have fun having me erase words each time we sing it, until all the words have been erased and they have the song memorized!
I also make my own cutouts from colored paper or sticky-backed foam sheets. You can find foam sheets at a craft store or Wal-Mart. Our church magazines (Ensign, New Era, Friend) have great pictures that you can cutout and use. I generally use these for songs about family, prophets or the Savior as those are the most common pictures in church magazines. I also cut out flower pictures from my “Better Homes and Gardens” magazines to make a flipchart for I Often Go Walking last year for Mother’s day!
Recently I had the Senior primary illustrate their own images for a song flipchart. They colored pictures for Choose the Right. They got a big kick out of making the pictures themselves!
Other things to consider for visual aids: Holidays and Seasons; Size and color; Objects that help illustrate a song (e.g. flashlight for “sun” or “light” in a song); Sign language and other hand movements (have the kids help you come up with them!); Make a puzzle, each piece has a song to sing. Make it creative, make it yours, make it colorful, make it fun!
Erin is the mother of an adorable little girl. She loves young adult fiction, going to movies and Girl’s Nights. She also creates wicked cool wedding hairstyles!